I guess its been a few years since I've really posted anything here. I still read the forum pretty frequently and thought I'd just check in with some knives I've just finished up and sent to their new owners. I don't know how my future in bladesmithing is going to look at this point since I just graduated from college with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering and I'm interviewing for jobs around the country. I don't know when I'll be able to start building, both literally and figuratively, a good space to work in again, but I definitely want to keep exploring the craft.
I have been lucky to have a few really good repeat customers. The first two knives are going to the same guy, and he really makes sure to put knives through their paces, so these are made with that in mind. He gave me a lot of freedom with the design but stipulated that I not go to crazy with the ornamentation this time
The first is kind of a medium sized belt knife and the second is a pretty large seax. My ability to grind a really good edge for a given task is still improving, but I got lucky on the seax and it's an incredible cutter. Its flat ground with a convexed edge. The kind that's razor sharp out of sanding. The polishing also revealed a broad/active auto-hamon, which for me has been a sign of an excellent heat treat. Its tough to see in the photo because I chose not to emphasize it in the finishing.
Both blades are 1095 with beeswaxed veggie tanned leather. I tried and adding glue in addition to stitching to the seams this time and really liked the result. Very smooth sheath/welt transition. The fittings are wrought iron, and grips are stacked birch bark and figured crepe myrtle (might be my favorite handle material) from a tree I cut several months ago. I force-dried a few split sections in my kitchen oven for immediate use.
Right around the lip of the sheaths, I like to make an even line of waxed surface that extends into the interior of the sheath, a detail I've really enjoyed making.
(The leather button belt loop construction method is a Nate Runals rip off. First time trying it.)
The last knife is a small patternwelded seax with walnut and Cu grip and bolster for a friend's nephew. Tooling on the sheath was basically graphic-designed on the fly, which can be fun sometimes. Cu sheath fittings.